The White Mountain Central Railroad is located within the grounds of Clark’s Trading Post. Clark’s Trading Post is both a museum and tourist attraction that includes a 2.5-mile train ride. While it is more a family theme park than a railroad museum, it is one of the few places in New England that consistently runs steam trains.
Ed Clark’s “Eskimo Sled Dog Ranch” was opened by Florence M. and Edward P. Clark in 1928.
The business’s original focus was the raising and exhibiting of Eskimo Sled Dogs.
In 1930, the first bears arrived on the premises, and they helped to catch the attention of travelers passing by on Route 3. The Bear Show debuted in 1949. For more than half a century, the playful bears have been part of four generations of the Clark family.
In the photo below brothers W. Murray and Edward M. Clark are laying the first stretch of track for the White Mountain Central Railway in 1955. The first train ride took place in July 30, 1958 and the total revenue was ten dollars.
In the 1950’s, fascinated by steam machinery, the Clark brothers began to rescue steam locomotives from being destroyed.
They soon created “green pastures for iron horses” at the Trading Post which became known as The White Mountain Central Railroad.
Over the years it became home to the Climax, Heisler, Shay and Porter locomotives.
The Train Ride goes through Howe Truss Covered Wooden bridge.
It was built originally in 1904 on the Barre & Chelsea R.R. in east Montpelier, Vt.
We bought it in 1960, and over the next 4 years we took it apart, numbered each piece, brought it over here and put it back together on the south side of the Pemigewasset river.
Then we pulled it into place with an old Lynn Half Track Truck.
The bridge is 120 feet long, it weighs 200 tons, and it can support an additional 200 tons.
It was dismantled, transported, and reassembled spanning the Pemigewasset River on the White Mt. Central by Edward M. Clark, his two teenage sons, and a dedicated crew. This scenic extension of The White Mt. Central RR was a monumental accomplishment.
Today Clark’s Trading Post is an expansive attraction complex with an Americana Museum, Merlin’s Mystical Mansion, the White Mountain Central Railroad, bumper boats, specialty shops, dining spots and more.